An analysis of the relationship between English non-word repetition and morphosyntax in bilingual children
This study evaluates the relationship of between phonological short-term memory, as measured by a non-word repetition task (NWR), and the performance on morphosyntax language tasks, as assessed by grammatical priming and the Bilingual Spanish Assessment (BESA)/Bilingual English Spanish Assessment Middle Extension (BESAME) morphosyntax subtest in English. Sixty-nine Spanish-English first graders were selected from a previous study. A correlational analysis indicated there was no relationship between phonological short-term memory and performance on the BESA or the priming task. A moderate significant relationship occurred between the two morphosyntax tasks. The results imply that children may require a foundation of grammatical knowledge before they are able to benefit from grammatical priming. Performance on the BESA suggests that children’s ability to learn new grammatical forms was not dependent on their phonological short-term memory.